In response to rising housing prices in the Bronx, nonprofit Project Renewal is developing an affordable, supportive housing development; dubbed Bedford Green House, the building will not only supply homes, but also encourage residents to grow their own food. After breaking ground nearly two years ago in November, 2017, the Bedford Green House is now opening up a lottery-style application for its available apartments. 

Rendering of the project’s rooftop greenhouse.

Following Project Renewal’s mission to help low-income individuals and families, the Bedford Green House will provide residents with stable, low cost rent, as well as a secure food supply. Although designed and developed by Project Renewal, nearly half of this $58.8 million project is funded by the New York City Housing Development Corporation. Units in the building will range in rent from $883 per month, to $1,148.

Rendering by Hollister Construction Services.

A 1500 square-foot greenhouse on the building’s roof will use an aquaponic system to grow vegetables and raise tilapia. (Aquaponic systems like this are symbiotic, with waste from the fish helping to provide nutrients for the plants). Although residents will be responsible for cultivating the rooftop farm, horticultural therapist from Project Renewal will show participants how to care for the plants and fish. A commercial kitchen and available kitchen classes with professional chefs will help demonstrate how to cook with the produce being grown, highlighting the importance of healthy, organic meals.

The focus on healthy eating and cultivating a relationship with nature that are emphasized in the rooftop garden will be reflected in the Green House’s exterior design. Green facades on the exterior of the building will cover the housing with plants, and the lobby will also feature a wall of greenery. Looking to address community concerns over safety for families, the development will also include a community playground in front, giving children a safe place to play in the outdoors. In addition to its assets and amenities for residents and the immediate community, the Bedford Green House is expected to meet or surpass LEED Gold standards for energy efficiency.